Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Red Dirt vs. Green Country: Most Awkward Statue

satanic temple oklahoma

Red Dirt (Tony) vs. Green Country (Chelsea) is TLO’s newest segment, in which contributors argue about whether 405 or the 918 has the better of different cultural institutions. For instance, if the topic was “convenience stores,” Tulsa’s QuikTrip would be the obvious winner. If it was “Professional Basketball Teams,” OKC would win. And if it was “Politicians,” we would all lose! Pretty simple, right? This will settle once and for all which is the better city. Today is the first installment.

By now everyone has heard about the statue the Satanic Temple in New York wants to install at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Among normal people, reactions have ranged from bemusement to complete enthusiasm. Among people who someday want to get elected to political office, the most common reaction is to pretend to be offended.

If the Satanic statue were to ever be installed, it would immediately be the weirdest, most awkward statue in the state of Oklahoma, and by a pretty wide margin. But it’s not there yet, so today Chelsea and Tony are here to debate who has the current Most Awkward Statue in the state: the Tulsa area, or the Oklahoma City area?

The arguments are after the fold.

Green Country: Praying Hands at Oral Roberts University



Between the dozens of gigantic penguins dressed up as various professions, the Golden Driller who sometimes wears a kilt, and the guy with a large curvy penis at Swan Lake, it was quite a doozy settling on just one strange statue in Tulsa. Ultimately though, I went with one of Tulsa’s most popular (and cringeworthy) “tourist attraction,” the praying hands at Oral Roberts University.

Growing up my parents told me that every Sunday morning, those hands reach down and beg for money. While that’s still a major part of the job description, we all now know that their main function is to bitch-slap the Christ back into whichever ORU students have strayed from the righteous path. ORU’s definition of a “righteous path” might include abiding by a 10:00 curfew into your 20s, banishing gay people, and being terrified of normal sex, but, I digress.

For me, the main hate/love relationship I have with those gigantic praying hands has little to do with the artistry of its construction, or its bold statement of faith. It’s Tulsa’s most awkward statue because well, it’s a giant pair of hands, commissioned by a guy named Oral, who by the way seems to have some sort of fixation on golden phallic-shaped structures. Plus, if the statue’s thumbs were lowered just a little bit, the hands would form the internationally recognized hand gesture for vagina. You know you’ve pondered this before too. – Chelsea


Red Dirt: The Statue of Some Random Guy That Everyone Pretends Is A Statue Of Sam Bradford

ou-sam-bradford-heisman-park- statue

I had considered that creepy-ass horse statue at OU on Boyd Street whose beady red eyes stare you down in the middle of the night and was designed by a Texas graduate, but in the end I had to go with the “Sam Bradford” statue at OU’s Heisman Park.

When it was unveiled, Sam Bradford said “I never thought in a million years I’d be seeing a statute of myself.” Then he continued… “And I guess I won’t because that is clearly not me. Seriously, guys? You couldn’t find a decent sculptor anywhere in Norman? I look like a 60-year-old man trying to heave a football.”

And like all great art, the statue has the Nike swoosh on it. Who has to worry about the struggle between art and commerce when you can just make sure to include all your corporate sponsors in your pieces of art? It brings a tear to my eye. Could be really awkward if OU ever becomes an Adidas school, though. – Tony


What’s more awkward, the praying hands or the “Sam Bradford” statue? Or speak up for that statue of Conan O’Brien in Okarche. And join us next time when Red Dirt vs. Green Country debates whether the Oklahoman or the Tulsa World had more derpy comments on it’s Facebook page in response to the gay marriage ruling.



  1. I have to vote for Sam Bradford’s statue. I lived in the 918 and those hands have been around long enough to be part of Tulsa’s awkwardness. But if a stranger was in Tulsa they would say, “damn those are some big ass hands”, but if they were in Norman they’d ask, “Did Christopher Walken play football at OU?”

  2. “Growing up my parents told me that every Sunday morning, those hands reach down and beg for money.” <—- Hahahaha! This made my day.

  3. I vote for Bradford as well. Yes the praying hands are weird, but the Bradford statue is the absolute worst statue I have ever seen. Living in the 918, I would like to add a write-in vote for the buffalo statue in downtown Bartlesville, with mirrored glass all over his nuts. We Bartians affectionately refer to him as Disco Balls.

  4. What? No mention of the Pioneer Woman in Ponca City, or the creepy giant women in really odd positions in front of the Waterford Complex on 63rd?
    The Bradford statue is bad, I can’t tell if it looks more like Christopher Walken or a young William Shatner.

  5. The Olympic Festival statute next to the Peake is the worst statue in the state. It is terrible in the same league of incompetence as the guy Tony Soprano whacked during Meadow’s college visit. And I think it’s by the guy that did Bradford.

  6. Seriously, is there any way that OU (or the Athletic Association or whomever paid for it) can get rid of that Bradford statue? The ones of the other Heisman winners are pretty lame, but someone needs to demand a refund on the Bradford(?) work. If I had Sam’s money, I’d probably pay for its destruction myself.

  7. C’mon guys…are voting buttons that hard? I have to go with the weirdo hands because at least the Sam Bradford statue is a normal statue subject. You see statues of people every where. But, a big set of hands shooting up in the sky like the beginning of some Will Ferrell Spartan cheerleader routine? That’s just weird.

  8. I think the Bradford statue looks like Jon Voigt. Why didn’t the Golden Driller make the list? That thing is not only weird, it’s creepy. And people say Barbie is out of proportion!

  9. Most awkward statue in the state? In Woodward there is a giant statue of a child riding a dinosaur behind the Ten Commandments with a plaque that says “This depicts the life of a child living 4,000 years ago”

  10. I’m gonna have to side with the statue of the man dressed like Sammy B as well. Admittedly, sports statues are OFTEN wrong. Supposedly “the nicest guy in baseball history,” Stan Musial hated the statue of him outside of the Cardinals stadium in St. Louis because it wasn’t accurate. And he was legendary. So I guess it happens. That doesn’t make it right though. As for the hands, regardless of how you feel about it, it accurately shows what they’re going for. I mean, there’s little doubt those are indeed two hands. Now if they’d specified whose hands, maybe there could be some argument. As for the praying part, or the “each Sunday they reach down and take money” thing, it’s on a campus of a private, religious university. Kind of hard to really rip into it in that case. I mean if there were a statue of a tractor outside the OK State Fair (in OKC, couldn’t tell you anything about the Tulsa one. other than the Driller guy), we’d just kind of accept it, wouldn’t we?
    Oh, and from the ages of 17-24ish I always told all my friends I’d be governor someday. Not too many people hate me though (to my knowledge), and about a month ago, I figured out that I may indeed be a Democrat (after claiming to be an issue-by-issue moderate Repub for 12 years), but don’t tell my family. Political career is effectively dead.

  11. Apparently no one considered the Bond Of Friendship statue in the ghost town of Skeedee Oklahoma depicting an Osage Indian “Chief Baconrind” and Colonel Tom Walters. Neither one looks like Sam Bradford.

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